And A Lovely Holiday To All

We had the first frost in Memphis this morning. It’s as close as we usually get to snow. It’s naught but a thin layer of white, but at least we have some sign of winter.

I know that you in the northeast are being blasted with snow, a little too much snow, but down here we yearn for it.

Still my little layer of frost reminds me that Christmas is right around the corner.

Christmas never creeps up. It comes faster and faster every year, crashing down on me at deadline time. Always at deadline time.

I look at the calendar, and it’s a month away. Plenty of time, I think, and then it’s here faster than the time it takes me to blink. And now it’s only a week away. Doesn’t seem possible.

I love Christmas. Always have. Always will. I usually start the preparation in September with the first of the many craft fairs in the south. Probably eighty percent of my gifts come from those fairs. There is always something unique and absolutely perfect for people on my list.

Aha, I traditionally think. Christmas will be easy this year. Gifts are mostly done, and I’ll take my time doing everything else.

And then it’s here! Faster than I thought. Parcels to be sent, but then I forgot something for that particular person. And now as I look at my cache of craft fair booty, it doesn’t look as great as when I purchased most of the items. Maybe something else . . .

Decorations? Where did I put them last year? Why can’t I find my collection of the minature Santas in my shamefully crowded attic. The tree? Going to pick it up in my dad’s big car. According to plan, I go out outside and the car’s battery is dead. Six hours later, the battery is replaced but some kind of cluster exploded inside the dash, and the part is obsolete. Frantically call friend to help out. She arrives, but my favorite tree lot is closed and we have to search for another.

So much for best laid plans.

I finish decorating inside about ten minutes before a party for my romance writers chapter. Then the party is over, and the smell of pine and cinnamon still wafts hover the house. Christmas music, particularly that from Celtic Women, follow me from room to room. Pounds and pounds of pecans are toasting in butter in the oven. They go in tins to be sent to special friends. They have to be in the mail today.

And still so much to do. I’m late with cards but that’s typical. My one brightly lit angel outside needs some companions. She looks lonely, and I have no time to find some. I did the shopping for myself, but now I have to do it for my bed-ridden Mom.

Is Christmas really only days away? How did that happen?

But since I’m fitting Christmas in-between writing fifteen pages (hopefully more) a day, I’m going to ask you to do most of the blog work this time. And a grateful me will send one of my westerns to two of those who reply.

What is your favorite thing about Christmas? Color? Music? Finding the right gift? Or the smiles and good will that seem to greet you everywhere?

What is your favorite Christmas song?

And how do you do your Christmas shopping? Months ahead? Weeks ahead? Days ahead? Christmas Eve?

In the meantime, let me wish you all a very lovely and happy holiday season.

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17 thoughts on “And A Lovely Holiday To All”

  1. A layer of FROST, Pat?? Wow, I need to dig a tunnel out my door, burrow up to the surface and see if there’s any frost HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’ve never been really big on a White Christmas. Living in Nebraska kinda takes the thrill out of white.
    Favorite Christmas song? Deck the Halls by Mannheim Steamroller. If you’ve never listened to the Mannheim Christmas Albums you’re really missing something. Make sure and get the one with Deck the Halls, just beautiful, class orchestral music.
    At church, my favorite is Angels We Have Heard or High. I love the ‘Glo-o-o-o-ria, in excelsious Deo’ part.

  2. Oh Patricia. Isn’t it funny, not just in reference to Christmas but an entire year, just how quickly it goes by. In January you think Wow, another year over and another beginning and within the blink of an eye we’re in December, with Christmas looming SO close you can almost taste it. Then it leaves you wondering, where did all the time go.

    Best of luck getting everything done and being able to relax and enjoy the holiday!

    I think my favorite thing about Christmas is just about all of it, though most especially time with family and friends. Sending Christmas cards to pretty much everyone I know, especially those I care about, but don’t get to see or talk to very often during the year. As for my favorite color- I’m a colorful festive Who down in Whoville- I love colored decorations, wreaths, garland and lights. I like white ones too, but I love how festive homes look with all the colors. I guess that’s the kid in me. My favorite color though is blue- blue candle lights in my windows. I think I get that from growing up hearing my mom’s Elvis album and Blue Christmas all the time.

    My favorite Christmas music ranges from country, to comedy, to traditional to classic. A few favorites- Merry Christmas Darling- The Carpenters, Same Old Lang Syne- Dan Fogelberg, Last Christmas- Wham!, White Christmas- Bing Crosby, Miss You Most at Christmas- Mariah Carey, The Hat I Got for Christmas is too Beeg- Mel Blanc (as Speedy Gonzalez), Santa Claus is Back in Town- Elvis Presley. This list could go on and on.

    I do like to try to find the right gift when I know it’s just right for the person I have in mind. My husband’s mom and her husband love Harleys, so this year we got them “Harley Dude” and “Harley Mama” coffee mugs and a “Harley Fund” jar.

    It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I do see the kindness in others this time of year. Even with all the stress of the holidays, there are still some who show an extra kindness and that just tugs at my heart.

    In years past we’ve usually still been shopping right up to Christmas Eve. A couple of years ago my husband went out to get something on Christmas Eve and had to stand in line for about 2 hours to get to the register though and he swore he’d never do that again! LOL This year we did our shopping online and got it all ordered around the beginning of November. We’ve gotten everything except treats for the kids stockings, though I still have wrapping to do.

    Hope you have a wonderful day!

  3. I love Mannheim, too, Mary. For “traditional” songs, it’s gotta be The Holly and the Ivy, but my favorite original one is Mannheim’s Lullaby. (I think that’s the title.) This year is a somber Christmas as we just lost our closest friend, but our grandson just turned one and he really makes our spirits bright. He stands at the tree, doesn’t touch, and just goes “oooooooh!” with all the stars in his eyes. My fave movie is George C. Scott’s Christmas Carol, but our family favorite is Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. We even call our attic the griswold.

  4. Hi Pat — Oh, you’re so right about Christmas creeping up on us. It DOES come faster and faster every year. I’m not one who shops for Christmas all year long and I cringe when a friend tells me all her shopping is done BEFORE Thanksgiving! I had a really bad “Deadline” last year right before Christmas and I swore Never Again. It really ruined the holiday for me – too much stress and that isn’t what the holiday should be about.
    But I love the generous spirit of giving at Christmas, the warmth and love between family and friends and the good food! My favorite Christmas movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I could watch that over and over and still discover something new!
    Good luck with your 15 pages a day!
    Happy Holidays!

  5. Hi Pat! Sounds like you’re as rushed and scattered as I am. I always wait until the last minute it seems. The thing is I hate to think about gift-buying and tree trimming because it requires so much extra brain work. Ha, you’d think I’m lazy or something! 🙂 It’s really not that. When it comes to shopping, I’m so full of self-doubt. I never know what to get anyone. I’m afraid they’ll positively hate what I get. And then there’s the crowds to have to weave in and out. And the germs. Who knows what some of those people are carrying. I’m a wreck. And now you know the whole sordid truth. But, what makes it all okay are the smiles on the little faces of my grandchildren when they open their gifts. I swear, I think I could wrap up a dog dumpling and they’d be tickled! They’re sweet. . . the kids, not the dog dumpling. lol

    My very favorite Christmas song is Bing Crosby’s I’ll be Home for Christmas. It always makes me teary-eyed. I think of all those people who’ll spend it so far from home. Families need to be together.

    I wish you lots of Christmas cheer, Pat. At least you managed to get your tree trimmed. That’s wonderful. Enjoy your frost.

  6. We’ve watched It’s a Wonderful Life and ‘Elf’ already this Christmas. My favorite Christmas movie is, “While You Were Sleeping” with Sandra Bullock. If anyone has missed this, it’s about the sweetest most perfect romantic comedy ever.
    I claim it as our family’s favorite movie, but, unfortunately, my husband realized the first Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Interestingly enough, the first Lethal Weapon is a Christmas movie, too.
    So the competition is tough.

  7. Time does go by so quickly and I am always behind. I don’t worry about it overly much anymore. I am looking forward to seeing A Christmas Story which is such a pleasure to watch. I enjoy singing Christmas hymms in church which we were doing yesterday while we were watching the children’s Christmas progam.

  8. We had a layer of frost this morning too, and like you, that is the closest to snow as we’ll get here in SW Louisiana. But hey, that’s fine with me!

    Unlike many, I don’t long for freezing temperatures and snow…I don’t like to be cold or wet, and definitely not wet & cold at the same time!

    What is your favorite thing about Christmas?
    Color? Music? Finding the right gift? Or the smiles and good will that seem to greet you everywhere? I like all of these things about Christmas.

    What is your favorite Christmas song? Mary did You Know? and What Child is This?

    And how do you do your Christmas shopping? Months ahead? Weeks ahead? Days ahead? Christmas Eve? Usually only days ahead as I never know what to buy anyway LOL!

    Now here’s a short Holiday Poem for you all!

    As we move through this special time of year

    We give Thanks, share Joy and spread lots of Cheer.

    Keep in mind that life is a gift and offer God praise.

    And always remember to keep the holidays, Holy Days!

    Happy Holidays!!

  9. While You Were Sleeping is my favorite Christmas movie, too, with Christmas Vacation a close second. My kids have always wanted to watch A Christmas Story every year — pu-leese! But I let them, even though I feared they’d put out an eye. LOL

  10. My favorite Christmas song is Silver Bells.
    My favorite thing about Christmas is having all the family together for a meal.
    My shopping has been done for a couple of weeks now. I wrapped most of it today.

  11. Yesterday, we had a skiff of snow on the ground and flurries most of the day here in southern Kentucky. I would love a white Christmas, but it hasn’t snowed for Christmas here in several years.

    Talk about waiting until last minute, I rushed to the post office this morning with my mom’s box, which is destined for Texas. The clerk told me today is the absolute las day packages could be mailed (even priority) and make it before Christmas. Yikes! I almost missed the boat this year. And that would have been awful. Mom is a thousand miles from all of her children, so the packages and phone calls are how we still feel connected at this time of year. Nothing expensive in the way of gifts, but she’s elderly and gets such joy from receiving those little tokens from us, and she always sends something up this way for EVERYone.

    Music. Now don’t laugh, but the CD that’s on continuous play right now is Clay Aiken’s, “Merry Christmas With Love.” There’s no way I could choose an absolute favorite Christmas song, so I’ll just pick a couple from this particular CD. “Mary Do You Know” and “Don’t Save It All For Christmas Day.”

    Hope everyone has a joyous holiday season, filled with love, laughter, and the spirit of goodwill toward others. (not to mention baked goods. Must have baked goods. :o)

  12. I love “Mary, Did You Know,” too. It’s one of my favorites along with “O Holy Night” an Little Drummer Boy.”

  13. We were lucky on the weather – got some snow and a touch of icy rain but nothing like they had called for. I’m always thinking about what to get people – I try for that perfect gift (and sometimes I actually come up with it) but I don’t do a thing until after Thanksgiving – one holiday at a time lol. My favorite song is the Gift. I have the one that Garth Brooks sings and it always brings tears to my eyes. My favorite book is The Littlest Angel which actually makes me sob (although I am not a crier). I love the idea of people wanting to be nice to people. Happy Holidays!!

  14. My favorite part of Christmas is spending time with friends and family and the excitement in the small childrens eyes. I have noticed the closer it gets to Christmas the children seen to not mind as well. I can remember telling my son you better be good because Santa is watching you but that didn’t really work. I think its cute.

    My favorite song is Oh Holly Night, very beautiful if done right and the Little Drummer Boy. I start my shopping about a month before Christmas, but don’t seem to finish until a few days before it hits. Christmas seem to have come quicker this year for some reason. I’ve turned around and it is just one week away.

  15. What a great post to come out of lurkdome!

    Hi Pat…ah, Christmas, my favorite time of the year! We got 20 inches of snow between two storms in three days…gotta love a white christmas in New England!

    Now…to your questions:

    What is your favorite thing about Christmas?

    Sitting in my living room after the family has gone to bed with only the lights of my christmas village and tree and listening to holiday music (as long as my daily writing quote is done!)

    What is your favorite Christmas song?

    “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”…growing up in a military family and serving myself in the US Navy, it always reminds me of those times when home was very far away.

    Favoite Christmas movie? Gotta go with the classic “White Christmas” but the 2006’s “The Holiday” is also becoming a favorite!

    And how do you do your Christmas shopping?

    I tried to be like my mom and do the “months ahead” thing once, but then I forgot where I hid everything…we found wrapped gifts until the following 4th of July that year. Now I aim for getting it done by Thanksgiving for family that needs to be mailed across the country and this weekend is for stocking stuffers for my teenager — then I am done!

  16. A skiff of snow. I like that Devon.
    I also love All I want for Christmas. That’s a family favorite. Two kids trying to get their divorced parents to reconcile.
    Kevin Nealan is in it as the scurvy boyfriend of the mom.
    Anyway, it’s funny and sweet and of course the crazy plot of the kids works.
    There’s a white mouse in it named Snowball. For some reasom my family, when they want to remember this movie’s name, someone always says, “The one with the white mouse in it.”
    Then we all remember, but I have a terrible time remembering the movie’s name.

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